If I bought an iPhone from an Apple retail store but later found I no longer needed the phone, and I have not unsealed the box, and have decided to sell it to person A:

  1. Will person A be able to extract any private info about me through the serial number?
  2. Is there any concern for me to sell it to others?
  3. Whether I asked for a receipt or not, does Apple keep my info to be associated with this phone with this particular serial number?

1 Answer 1


will person A be able to extract any private info about me through serial number?

No. None of your personally identifiable information is linked with a serial number. A device isn’t registered to you until you link it with an AppleID. Case in point: you buy someone a iPhone as a gift. It wouldn’t make sense to link all of your personal info to something that you were not going to be the ultimate user of.

The SN# at purchase allows Apple to track the transaction and should you want to return it (within the allotted time) for example, they will be able to verify that you’re returning what you bought. As far as selling it or gifting it, you’re free to do so without compromising your personally identifiable information.

  1. No concern from Apple - it depends on your locale if there are any taxes or restrictions or if you crossed a border with the device, but that's independent of the transaction you started with Apple.

  2. No - Apple never confirms who bought anything without a court order or proper legal request. All someone can do is contact Apple support and say they are the owner of the device. Apple will register that serial to them and not change any past internal records. Sometimes you need the original purchase receipt to prove to Apple you purchased it - but that is rare and you could provide a redacted copy of the receipt to the purchaser if you feel they treated you right or just let them know to contact you should they ever need a proof of purchase.

The new buyer or giftee of the device gets the full warranty as Apple tracks the purchase date internally with no need to "register" and they can buy AppleCare without needing any receipt in all cases I've seen.

  • Does the fact that apple has issued an receipt of my purchase of this iPhone (at retail store) have any implications? Does it mean apple or more importantly prospective buyer of this iPhone can trace back the buyer of this iPhone? thx for your response
    – user502177
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:02
  • Yes. Your credit card transaction is linked to the device you bought, but that’s on Apple’s side. It’s not publicly available. This is the same with virtually any other high-end (expensive) device. The SN# is linked with the transaction. I bought a 4K Sony TV from BestBuy and the SN# was on the receipt. This doesn’t mean someone can go look up the SN# and get my name.
    – Allan
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:06
  • thank you for your kind response. that way I will sell my iPhone with a peace of mind. thx a lot
    – user502177
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:07
  • No worries. Privacy is a big concern nowadays. You can never be too careful.
    – Allan
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:18

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